Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Day 1
Banned in the USA – Gerard Harris – Red Venue
I get the idea Mr. Harris was improvising his way through this script, and it took a while to light up. But once he was rolling, this was a hysterical flying nightmare story. Harris leaves his home in Montreal heading for Rio and then to Bali but there’s a catch: he must make a connection from LaGuardia to JFK. Frequent flyers know: NEVER try to make a LaGuardia to JFK connection, it’s a disaster that needs no recipe. Customs hell, surly stewardesses, and the sheer insanity of NYC aviation build this to a laugh riot. Got a frequent flyer account? Upgrade to this evening of “There I was….”
Man Cave – Tim Mooney – Green Venue
This late comer to the festival is the latest project of Shakespearean expert Tim “Moliere” Mooney. Tonight he’s the last man alive in a world dying from heat, sealed in a bunker filled with water filters and canned beans, but no ammunition. His hobby? Broadcasting rants about the death of earth to distant and unresponsive pockets of life. Some may be in Europe, some might be on Alpha Centauri, those might take a while to get back to him. Thought-provoking and timely; remember the toasty Orlando summer is just around the corner.
Fallen from the Toybox – Orange Venue – The Fourth Wall
Forth Wall mixes precise classical music with Three Stooges- style physical humor and a flair for showmanship. A toy soldier winds up a dancing doll and the next thing the troupe is blowing up balloons with a trombone, chasing a vibraphone, and demonstrating their proficiency with the “boom-whacker.” Its sweet and funny, silly and stupendous, and the sort of event that’s gets the tag line: “Good for kids of all ages”
El Wiz – Paul Castaneda – Orange Venue
“Toto, I don’t think we’re in San Juan anymore!” In this fun musical local writer/producer Paul Castaneda remaps “The Wizard of Oz” to the meteorological disaster we call Puerto Rico. The lyrics are both English and Spanish; Castaneda tells the story in both languages elegantly and smoothly. The Ruby Slippers are to die for, and the singing enthusiastic. I especially liked the Tinman’s Song and the Scarecrow’s nervous tick. This is multiculturalism at its best.
Beneath the Bikini – Bikini Katie Productions – Blue Venue
Bikini Katie’s on-site advertising is a Fringe tradition for over a 50th of a century, and tonight she reveals the backstory of how it came to be, body issues, non-supportive relatives and more than a few bad lovers gives depth to her story, and she writes her subtext on her body, but it is in a washable ink. It’s a one woman show that empowers and entertains, and you can get some recommendations on what shows to see as well.